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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE EASTER BUNNY
by: Max Burbank

Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Three days prior, Jesus had been fatally crucified, a day commemorated ironically by the Christian world as 'Good Friday'. Crucifixion is reported to be significantly more painful than a root canal and I would not be inclined to call any day in which I had a root canal 'good'. Perhaps the Church is thinking ahead, as the New Testament tells us that Jesus arose from the grave, appeared to his disciples and ultimately ascended to Heaven, which has always struck me as odd. I mean, why bother coming back to life if you only stick around for a day or so? It seems like a lot of work. In any case, it is this act that is celebrated by Christians every year on Easter Sunday.


"Satisfied, Thomas? Oh, and 'ouch' by the way. I hope you washed your hands.
So anyway, good to see you guys, but I seriously have to get going."

An anthropomorphic, bipedal Bunny possessed of a Santa Like miraculous ability to fill children's baskets with chocolates and 'hide' vast numbers of brightly colored 'eggs' seems far more like a mushroom induced hallucination than anything even remotely related to Jesus. How then did the traditions of the so called 'Easter Bunny' become so enmeshed with the 'Greatest Story Ever Told' which is about the Song Of God enduring hideous sacrificial agony and returning to life so that we (and by 'we' I mean decent Christian folk and not heathen hell bound sinners like you) might be washed in his blood?

Curiously, the 'Easter Bunny' is 'extra biblical' a term meaning that, like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and Sasquatch, he (or she) is not mentioned in the Bible, even in the apocrypha, which is pretty trippy as chunks of the bible go. While there is a Gnostic gospel, the Gospel of Dave, that does indeed mention a large, hirsute roman with prominent buck teeth witnessing the resurrected Jesus and 'hopping' directly to heaven, it should be noted that I totally made that up just now.

Except for its modern association with Easter, the 'Bunny' is not a biblical symbol in the New Testament, and appears only once in "The Songs of Solomon" which uses rabbits as a symbol for energetic screwing. Where then, does this tradition come from?

THE HARE: ANCIENT SYMBOL OF ENERGETIC SCREWING

In the ancient world, the rabbit has long been a symbol of fertility. The rabbit is known for its reproductive prowess, in fact even today we talk of filthy poor people who have more children than they can afford as "multiplying like rabbits." Because it is known to reproduce often, it was seen has having special powers in assisting humans to reproduce. The less said about this the better, considering that if the Easter Bunny did anything like what our ignorant, pagan ancestors forced rabbits to do, you would never let your children take candy from it.

Pre-Christian Europe already had celebrations of spring, but since no one had told them about Jesus returning from the dead, they celebrated the end of winter (which for about half of them every year was indeed death) and the 'rebirth' of grass and flowers, which were never actually dead, and the birth of livestock which isn't really rebirth at all. Small wonder that when introduced to a holiday featuring somebody actually returning from the death they immediately ditched their inferior celebrations. Despite the eagerness with which Europeans embraced the more sensible Christian religion, they dragged along many of the trapping of their old incorrect ways.

One such 'drag along' was the Eastern European goddess of fertility, (sometimes known as the goddess of energetic screwing) 'Eostre'.


Ancient peoples found this image erotic, one of many
reasons scholars today view them as 'fucked'.

Some scholars even say that the modern word 'Easter' is a corruption of 'Eostre', but all of them are going to hell, which is where most scholars end up unless they are biblical scholars. The consort of 'Eostre' was a 'hare', which is another name for 'bunny'. Interestingly, 'consort' is another word for 'sexual partner', one of the many reasons that the eager embrace of Christianity by prehistoric, bestial European pagans sometimes needed to be 'helped along' by 'setting them on fire'. Some stories also say that 'Eostre' gave her Rabbit 'consort' the ability to lay eggs once a year, eggs being an ancient symbol of fertility, though that hardly makes the concept of egg laying rabbits any less unnatural and disgusting.

ENTER THE GERMANS

The first written reference to the 'Easter Bunny' comes in the 15'Th century from, unsurprisingly, the Germans. Since prehistory, the Germanic tribes have been particularly keen for latching onto the upsetting and so an enormous, lustful, egg laying rabbit was a natural fit. In the 1800's, German settlers to Pennsylvania brought their 'Easter Bunny' or 'Oster Haws' (literally 'egg layin' sexy Jesus Bunny) with them in the same way that Rats inadvertently carry disease-bearing fleas wherever they go. In the three centuries since his first mention, the Germans feeling perhaps that the 'Oster Haws' was insufficiently bizarre or terrifying began having colored chocolate or candy filled eggs pop from the magical rabbit's reproductive orifice.


I am so sorry you had to see this. Seriously, rabbits are horrible.

Asked by other Pennsylvania's what in God's name this terrifying practice had to do with Jesus, the German's looked sideways whistled nervously and said "Shhhhhh." Later they would warn parents that the Ball Bearing sized, admittedly egg shaped droppings left by rabbits were neither chocolate nor eggs, but it was already too late.

THE 'OSTER HAWS' ASSIMILATES

Over time the vast melting pot of America did what it does best and squeezed the ethnicity, authenticity and life out of the 'Oster Haws', leaving the non-threatening but still inexplicable 'Eater Bunny' in it's place.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!
If I close my eyes it'll go away, if I close my eyes it'll go away. Okay. Okay. All gone now and AAAAAAAAAAGHH!!! AAAAAAGGAAGAAHHHHH!! OH, GOD, EGGS!!!!

And a good thing too, because if you force your child to watch Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" they get upset. Far easier to tell them a sanitized ex German magic rabbit left the candy. Honestly it makes just about as much sense as thinking anybody who got crucified is going to shoot the breeze with you ever again. I mean if Jesus had died of sleep apnea, maybe. But Crucifixion? You know what that is, right? Stick with the Bunny.


If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:


The Story Of The Easter Bunny:
A Holiday Fable For My Daughters



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